I’ve also noticed how much of a difference a small contribution can make. A couple of local language books, for example. This can help a whole generation of kids to master their language better, an essential skill that no child should be deprived off.
I’ve then got difficulties containing my anger when I see the NGO (Non Governmental Organizations) driving around in top end 4 wheel drive cars. The cost of one of these is more than the cost of the books for hundreds of libraries.
I’ve heard all the counterarguments before:
– The accident rate on the roads is very high. We need good quality cars to protect our staff.
And crush the locals because you drive twice as fast?
– We got a great deal with Toyota on these Landcruisers
Only on the 4 liter deluxe version and not on the ‘basic’ 3 liter version?
– I work on a research project. I’m not doing any of the practical stuff like helping children read.
If you’re sitting behind a desk all day, why does each of you need a four wheel drive?
I’ve seen a lot of villages and I specifically look for the poor ones. Where are you non-profit people? Why don’t I see you in the fields observing local work practices and enhancing them? Train people directly or train trainers? If I only think of all the billions a small country like The Netherlands spends and how much of lasting difference a ‘drop in the ocean’ would make for a country like Laos.
It makes me sick.